heading

Having received more than 100 awards and recommendations from international hardware websites and magazines, the NF-A15 is one of Noctua’s most renowned and popular 140mm fans. Its 150mm wide round frame with 120mm standard mounting holes (105mm hole spacing) makes it ideal for use on CPU coolers such as the popular NH-D15, NH-D15S or NH-U14S. The chromax.black.swap edition combines the NF-A15’s signature quiet cooling performance with an attractive all-black design and a bundle of swappable red, white, blue, green, yellow and black anti-vibration pads that allow the colour-customisation of the fan to match individual build colour schemes. For further customisation, a wide range of accessories such as coloured cables and anti-vibration mounts are available separately. Topped off with Noctua’s trusted premium grade SSO2 bearing, more than 150,000 hours MTTF and 6-year manufacturer’s warranty, the NF-A15 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap is the perfect choice for all users who value individual, focused build aesthetics just as much as class-leading quality and performance.
Details
Award-winning NF-A15 design

Award-winning NF-A15 design

Having received more than 100 awards and recommendations from the international press, Noctua's NF-A15 has become a proven premium choice for 140mm cooling needs. Its renowned efficiency has convinced tens of thousands of customers all over the world.
chromax.black.swap edition

chromax.black.swap edition

Maximising colour choices, Noctua’s chromax.black.swap edition fans can be colour-customised using the included swappable anti-vibration pads as well as optional anti-vibration mounts and cables. This makes them ideal for enthusiasts looking for true premium-grade fans that can be colour-coordinated with popular build themes such as all black, black & white or black & red.
Swappable anti-vibration pads in 6 colours

Swappable anti-vibration pads in 6 colours

The NF-A15 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap comes with 8 black, white, red, blue, green and yellow anti-vibration pads respectively, which allows the fan to be fully colour-customised in order to coordinate it with other components or popular build schemes.
Optional coloured cables

Optional coloured cables

Noctua’s chromax line fans use a modular cabling system and come pre-fitted with a fully sleeved black NA-EC1 30cm cable. For refined colour coordination, white, red, blue, green and yellow 30cm NA-EC1 cables plus corresponding NA-YC1 y-cables are available separately.
Optional coloured anti-vibration mounts

Optional coloured anti-vibration mounts

To complement the coloured anti-vibration pads included with the fans, users can purchase chromax line NA-SAV2 anti-vibration mounts that enable the convenient, quick and vibration-free installation of fans in standard mounting holes for case fans.
Round 140mm frame with 150mm width

Round 140mm frame with 150mm width

The NF-A15 is tailor-made for use on today's high-end CPU coolers: While its 150mm width matches those of most high-end heatsinks, its 140mm height doesn't make it extend on top and thus ensures best case compatibility. The NF-A15's standard 120mm mounting holes (105mm spacing) also make it an ideal performance upgrade for 120mm case or CPU fans.
Flow Acceleration Channels

Flow Acceleration Channels

The NF-A15 impeller features suction side Flow Acceleration Channels. By speeding up the airflow at the crucial outer blade regions, this measure reduces suction side flow separation and thus leads to better efficiency and lower vortex noise.
AAO frame

AAO frame

Noctua's AAO (Advanced Acoustic Optimisation) frames feature integrated anti-vibration pads as well as Noctua's proprietary Stepped Inlet Design and Inner Surface Microstructures, both of which further refine the fan's performance/noise efficiency.
Stepped Inlet Design

Stepped Inlet Design

Noctua's Stepped Inlet Design adds turbulence to the influx in order to facilitate the transition from laminar flow to turbulent flow, which reduces tonal intake noise, improves flow attachment and increases suction capacity, especially in space-restricted environments.
Inner Surface Microstructures

Inner Surface Microstructures

With the tips of the fan blades ploughing through the boundary layer created by the Inner Surface Microstructures, flow separation from the suction side of the blades is significantly suppressed, which results in reduced blade passing noise and improved airflow and pressure efficiency.
SSO2 bearing

SSO2 bearing

The chromax line fans feature the further optimised second generation of Noctua’s renowned, time-tested SSO bearing. With SSO2, the rear magnet is placed closer to the axis to provide even better stabilisation, precision and durability.
Metal bearing shell

Metal bearing shell

In order to guarantee the highest possible degree of manufacturing precision, minimum tolerance and excellent long-term stability, the chromax edition fans sport a CNC milled bearing shell made entirely from brass.
Custom-designed PWM IC with SCD

Custom-designed PWM IC with SCD

Supporting fully automatic PWM speed control, the chromax edition fans use Noctua’s custom-designed NE-FD1 PWM IC that integrates Smooth Commutation Drive (SCD) technology. By providing smoother torque impulses, SCD suppresses PWM switching noises and thus makes the fan quieter at low speeds.
6-year manufacturer’s warranty

6-year manufacturer’s warranty

Noctua fans are renowned for their impeccable quality and outstanding longevity. Like all Noctua fans, the chromax edition models feature an MTBF of more than 150,000 hours rating and come with a full 6-year manufacturer's warranty.
NF-A15 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap
FAN Specification
Size
140x150x25 mm
Mounting hole spacing
105x105 mm
Connector
4-pin PWM
Bearing
Blade Geometry
Rotational Speed (+/- 10%)
1500 RPM
Min. Rotational Speed (PWM, +/-20%)
300 RPM
Acoustical Noise
24,6 dB(A)
Static Pressure
2,08 mm H₂O
Max. Input Power
1,56 W
Max. Input Current
0,13 A
Voltage
12 V
MTTF
> 150.000 h
Scope of delivery
  • 8x NA-AVP3 chromax.black anti-vibration pads
  • 8x NA-AVP3 chromax.blue anti-vibration pads
  • 8x NA-AVP3 chromax.green anti-vibration pads
  • 8x NA-AVP3 chromax.red anti-vibration pads
  • 8x NA-AVP3 chromax.white anti-vibration pads
  • 8x NA-AVP3 chromax.yellow anti-vibration pads
  • 4x fan screws
Warranty
6 years
NF-A15 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap
chromax by Noctua
A-Series fans
Video Reviews
The following video reviews have not been created by Noctua. Responsibility for the information and views expressed in the videos lies entirely with the authors.
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29.01.2018 // eTeknix.com
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NF-A15 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap Review

We’re huge fans of Noctua here at eTeknix, and more accurately, we’re fans of their fans. Since reviewing their now legendary NH-D15S cooler a couple of years ago, we use them on all our test benches. Right so too, they’re as cool as almost any AIO cooler and as quiet as a mouse. However, as many fans and coolers of theirs that we use, we often get readers poking fun at us for using brown fans. I say shut your face, I love the look of them, a lot of people do. However, there are just as many out there that think they look… well, brown I guess; they’re not wrong. Noctua has always been performance first and that’s fantastic. Aesthetics are easy, and I bet Noctua is the last in the world to touch RGB. If anything, they’ll do RGB when everyone else stops doing it. However, after all these years they’ve come up with a way to provide customisation and colour to their products, without impacting the core design of their products, or their performance. Of course, I’m talking about their new Chromax range.
Test verdict: "[T]rying to build an all black, or white, or red gaming PC with Noctua wasn’t easy. Now with the Chromax range, you can keep the same high-end performance you know and love, and dress it up to match your other hardware." (Peter Donnell, eTeknix.com)
06.12.2017 // modding.fr
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NF-A15 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap Review

Noctua étoffe largement sa gamme Chromax et ce n’est pas pour nous déplaire que cette dernière intègre maintenant quelques ventilateurs. Certes les ventilateurs Noctua ont une sacré réputation associant des performances à un niveau sonore relativement bas mais surtout à une très bonne fiabilité. Mais la ou plutôt le duo de couleurs d’origine se révèle être un frein pour des potentiels acheteurs… La gamme Industrial PPC propose d’ors et déjà des ventilateurs arborant une tenue noire, même si les silentblocs restent de couleur marron … Mais c’est surtout leur vitesse de rotation élevée qui engendre un niveau sonore conséquent (même si nous pouvons toujours adapter leur vitesse de par une gestion PWM). Aujourd’hui nous disposons d’un panel de 4 ventilateurs issus de la gamme « classique » des ventilateurs Noctua. [...] La gamme Chromax a débuté avec des silentblocs colorés ainsi que des attaches souples du même ordre. Avec ses nouveaux ventilateurs, Noctua équipe ces derniers d’un lot de silentblocs proposant ainsi chacune des couleurs (Noir, Blanc, Bleu, Rouge, Vert et Jaune). Cependant, mis à part le NF-A15 HS PWM, nous n’avons qu’un jeu de 4 silentblocs de chaque couleur ne permettant d’équiper qu’une seule face du ventilateur. Alors, avons nous besoin d’équiper les 8 coins du ventilateur avec la même couleur? Ou pouvons nous simplement mettre les noirs du coté radiateur et laisser la couleur sur la face opposée? La question reste dans le domaine esthétique et donc totalement subjective… Il reste que Noctua propose toujours à la vente séparée les kits NA-SAVP1 contenant 16 silentblocs de même couleur. On apprécie le système de câblage modulaire présent sur cette nouvelle gamme de ventilateurs. Cela permet de troquer l’extension de couleur noire incluse dans le bundle par une extension (NA-SEC1) adoptant la couleur des silentblocs que l’on a choisi de mettre en place. Voire de mettre directement en place l’adaptateur en Y que propose les kits NA-SYC1, utile dans le cas d’un ventirad comportant deux ventilateurs. La cerise sur le gâteau du geek est que la gamme Chromax propose aussi d’habiller deux des nombreux ventirads Noctua : NH-U12S et NH-D15 et les versions qui se déclinent de ses produits. Car il est un « défaut » esthétique qu’ont tous en commun ces ventirads, c’est l’extrémité des caloducs qui émergent de la dernière ailette… Avec le carénage que propose Chromax, on habille littéralement le radiateur d’une robe noire ou blanche avec ou sans petites touches de couleur. On peut même laisser libre cours à notre imagination pour remettre une seconde couche de peinture sur la base poudrée dont est revêtue la structure en aluminium, histoire de pousser encore plus loin la personnalisation !!! Amis artistes, à vos pinceaux… On rajoute que le montage est simple tout en étant efficace donc que du bon.
Test verdict: "Après quelques « hésitations » en nous présentant sa gamme Redux ou Industrial, Noctua élargit sa gamme Chromax à quelques uns de ses ventilateurs en les habillant d’une robe entièrement noire ! Mais on ne s’arrête pas là car cette gamme Chromax touche aussi des câbles ainsi que certains ventirad…." (Bertrand Curras, modding.fr)
11.11.2017 // Overclock3D.net
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NF-A15 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap Review

Well, it's been a long time coming, but Noctua have finally realised that not everybody loves the plain aluminium aesthetic of their heat sinks, and the diarrhea brown coupled with prosthetic limb beige of their standard fans. yes it's taken a while, but my God have they hit the ball out of the park with the Chromax Range. You can now get black, white and colour swap Black heat sink covers for the top end Noctua Heat sinks, as well as their leading fans in black with a choice of colour coordinating anti vibration pads. Not only that, but you can top off the whole buiild with a choice of six colours for fan splitter and fan extension cables. We're not expecting the products in the range to be dirt cheap, but what we have learned is that with Noctua, you get the quality you pay for, so yeah, the fans may cost a few quid more than your average fan, but it is, after all, a Noctua fan.
Test verdict: "Thanks Noctua, Thanks a bunch!" (Gary Wain, Overclock3D.net)
22.03.2018 // TecnoGaming.com
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NF-A15 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap Review

Noctua ha escuchado las críticas constructivas del público en el aspecto estético ya que es una marca muy reconocida en brindar soluciones de refrigeración avanzadas de alto rendimiento. Por ello entrega su nueva serie de accesorios Noctua Chromax con cubiertas de aluminio para disipador intercambiables (que no se rayan) junto a conectores de tipo “Y” NA-SYC1 y cables de extensión NA-SEC1, proporcionando diferentes colores para el gusto del usuario. Cambiamos el aspecto de nuestro cooler Noctua a uno mucho más agradable sin tener que removerlo, en cuestión de minutos. ¡Nuestra PC luce de maravillas! Además hay que recordar que Noctua acompaña con su línea de accesorios anti-vibración NA-SAV2 (montaje) y NA-SAVP1 (pads).
Test verdict: "Sin dudas estos accesorios mejoran considerablemente la imagen de nuestro sistema y la calidad es excelente, por lo tanto merece nuestra más alta distinción." (Alejandro Dau, TecnoGaming.com)
16.03.2018 // LanOC.org
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NF-A15 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap Review

Let's be honest, both some of the best heatsinks and fans are Noctua’s, especially when you are looking for low noise output. The problem is they have been very stuck on their brown and tan color scheme [...] Well a while back Noctua expanded their Chromax lineup with a new line of fans, new cables, and covers for most of their heatsinks that help give people color options for trim and finally fans and coolers that won’t stand out like a sore thumb while still giving people Noctua quality.
Test verdict: "Of everything announced, I don’t think anything has the same anticipation as the Chromax fan lineup." (Wes Compton, LanOC.org)
28.02.2018 // Tweak.dk
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NF-A15 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap Review

I dag skal vi kigge på Noctua’s ChromaX – en serie af produkter der giver din Noctua køler og blæsere et vitaminskud af farve på deres helt egen måde. Serien dækker over farvede fan kabler, antivibrations gummihjørner til blæsere og snap-on covers til flere af deres mest populære kølere. Er du klar på noget ”classy” RGB? Vi gennemgår hele bunken i dagens test!
Test verdict: "Med alting monteret ender vi med et ganske udmærket og nedspillet look, som står i en ret kraftig kontrast til det RGB lys, som er uhyggeligt populært for tiden. Er man ikke til lysshow, men stadigvæk vil have et bestemt farvetema i kabinettet, er ChromaX ikke en dum måde at løse det på." (Anders Hermansen, Tweak.dk)
22.02.2018 // PureOverclock.com
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NF-A15 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap Review

Noctua always has unprecedented quality and performance, and their design has adapted to reach a wider range of builders. If you're willing to pay for it, the fans will make an excellent addition to your system.
Test verdict: "Solid Build Quality, Excellent Noise/Airflow Ratio, Great Professional Aesthetic" (Brendan van Varik, PureOverclock.com)
05.02.2018 // PC-Max.de
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NF-A15 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap Review

Noctua und das Beige-Braun - für Modder und Show-Builds die Pest, wenn man sich in der Community umhört. Die Qualität und Leistung die die Produkte des österreichischen Unternehmens an den Tag legen bleibt davon aber unberührt. Kühler wie der NH-D15S sind die Referenz und gehören der Leistungsspitze an, hatten im Punkt Design in modernen Builds, in denen auch eine Beleuchtung für Akzente sorgt aber das Nachsehen. Chromax ist das Zauberwort, mit dem Noctua Optik-Fetischisten locken möchte. Zur Serie gehören Abdeckungen für die weitverbreitesten Kühler-Modelle, Kabel sowie Lüfter. Letztere behalten den Rotor-Aufbau bei, kommen aber in komplett schwarz daher und können mithilfe von Gummi-Dämpfen geringfügig in der Farbe akzentuiert werden. Wir prüfen, wie sich die auf Optik getrimmte Chromax-Linie in der Praxis schlägt.
Test verdict: "Was lange währt, wird endlich gut - oder viel besser gesagt: schön! Noctua hat sich dem Trend mehr als lang genug wiedersetzt, um mit der Chromax-Serie aus den schnöden, aber starken Kühlern nun auch starke UND schöne Kühler zu machen. Das ganze hört aber bei der Aufwertung der Kühlkörper nicht auf. Ins Bild passen auch die Lüfter in frischem Look mit den einsetzbaren Entkopplern. Das I-Tüpfelchen sind da die Kabel" (Issam Ammour, PC-Max.de)
22.01.2018 // PC Ekspert
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NF-A15 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap Review

Klasična Noctua kakvu smo poznavali prije pojave Chromax proizvoda je bila smeđa i kromirana, a sada je s ovim što novim, što osvježenim proizvodima unijela više živosti u svoju ponudu. Sa svim ovim dodacima moguće su razne kombinacije i modderi će konačno doći na svoje, kao i svi oni koji su samo htjeli crne ventilatore za kućišta i radijatore. Da se nas pita, za U12S ili D15 bi bili dovoljni samo crni ventilatori, crni pokrovi i crni kabeli, no nema ništa loše i u svim ovim ostalim kombinacijama.
Test verdict: "Noctua je poslušala želje kupaca i predvidjela neke pa su ponudili dovoljno boja za razne kombinacije i sve ukuse." (Krešimir Matanović, PC Ekspert)
30.12.2017 // Le Comptoir du Hardware
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NF-A15 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap Review

Noctua ne succombe pas encore à l'appel du RGB, mais trouve le moyen d'apporter de la couleur à ses créations. La marque autrichienne avait amorcé son virage avec les ventilateurs des séries IndustrialPPC et Redux, aux cadres noirs ou gris, bien plus séduisants. Elle continuait cette percée en lançant timidement les premiers éléments de la gamme Chromax il y a deux ans. Si, rappelez-vous de l'arrivée des patins antivibrations et des attaches de ventilateur colorés. C'était en décembre 2015, déjà. Cette année, Noctua est allé plus loin en proposant une gamme plus complète de câblage et de ventilateurs. Elle se concentre sur ses best-sellers, ce qui est déjà bien puisqu'il n'est pas nécessaire de vous rappeler leurs qualités (on ajoutera juste la couleur plus passe-partout). Enfin, les éléments d'habillage permettent de relooker vos ventirads sans aucun effort. Alors est-ce qu'on aime ça ? L'idée est sympathique et dans le cadre de l'achat des accessoires (câbles et attache pour ventilateur de boîtier), pas besoin de posséder des produits Noctua. Ils s'adapteront facilement à tous les modèles si vous voulez simplement ajouter une touche de couleur. En ce qui concerne les ventilateurs, le noir arrive enfin sur les modèles les plus cotés.
Test verdict: "La gamme Chromax de Noctua est un coup de coeur de cette fin d'année" (Thierry Comtesse, Le Comptoir du Hardware)

NA-SYC1 chromax.black

  • 3x NA-YC1 chromax.black y-cables for running two fans on one fan header
  • 4-pin connector supports both 3-pin and 4-pin fans
  • Black sleeving: ideal for creating PC builds with neat, focused aesthetics
NF-A15 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap

NA-SEC1 chromax.yellow

  • 4x NA-EC1 chromax.yellow 30cm extension cables
  • 4-pin connector supports both 3-pin and 4-pin fans
  • Yellow sleeving: ideal for creating PC builds with neat, focused aesthetics
NF-A15 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap

NA-SEC1 chromax.white

  • 4x NA-EC1 chromax.white 30cm extension cables
  • 4-pin connector supports both 3-pin and 4-pin fans
  • White sleeving: ideal for creating PC builds with neat, focused aesthetics
NF-A15 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap

NA-SEC1 chromax.red

  • 4x NA-EC1 chromax.red 30cm extension cables
  • 4-pin connector supports both 3-pin and 4-pin fans
  • Red sleeving: ideal for creating PC builds with neat, focused aesthetics
NF-A15 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap

NA-SYC1 chromax.blue

  • 3x NA-YC1 chromax.blue y-cables for running two fans on one fan header
  • 4-pin connector supports both 3-pin and 4-pin fans
  • Blue sleeving: ideal for creating PC builds with neat, focused aesthetics
NF-A15 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap

NA-SYC1 chromax.red

  • 3x NA-YC1 chromax.red y-cables for running two fans on one fan header
  • 4-pin connector supports both 3-pin and 4-pin fans
  • Red sleeving: ideal for creating PC builds with neat, focused aesthetics
NF-A15 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap

NA-SYC1 chromax.yellow

  • 3x NA-YC1 chromax.yellow y-cables for running two fans on one fan header
  • 4-pin connector supports both 3-pin and 4-pin fans
  • Yellow sleeving: ideal for creating PC builds with neat, focused aesthetics
NF-A15 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap

NA-SYC1 chromax.white

  • 3x NA-YC1 chromax.white y-cables for running two fans on one fan header
  • 4-pin connector supports both 3-pin and 4-pin fans
  • White sleeving: ideal for creating PC builds with neat, focused aesthetics
NF-A15 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap

NA-SYC1 chromax.green

  • 3x NA-YC1 chromax.green y-cables for running two fans on one fan header
  • 4-pin connector supports both 3-pin and 4-pin fans
  • Green sleeving: ideal for creating PC builds with neat, focused aesthetics
NF-A15 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap

NA-SEC1 chromax.green

  • 4x NA-EC1 chromax.green 30cm extension cables
  • 4-pin connector supports both 3-pin and 4-pin fans
  • Green sleeving: ideal for creating PC builds with neat, focused aesthetics
NF-A15 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap

NA-SEC1 chromax.blue

  • 4x NA-EC1 chromax.blue 30cm extension cables
  • 4-pin connector supports both 3-pin and 4-pin fans
  • Blue sleeving: ideal for creating PC builds with neat, focused aesthetics
NF-A15 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap

NA-SAV2 chromax.green

  • Anti-Vibration mounts
  • chromax.green edition
NF-A15 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap

NA-SAV2 chromax.blue

  • Anti-Vibration mounts
  • chromax.blue edition
NF-A15 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap

NA-SAV2 chromax.red

  • Anti-Vibration mounts
  • chromax.red edition
NF-A15 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap

NA-SAV2 chromax.yellow

  • Anti-vibrations mounts
  • chromax.yellow edition
NF-A15 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap

NA-SAV2 chromax.white

  • Anti-Vibration mounts
  • chromax.white edition
NF-A15 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap

NA-SEC1 chromax.black

  • 4x NA-EC1 chromax.black 30cm extension cables
  • 4-pin connector supports both 3-pin and 4-pin fans
  • Black sleeving: ideal for creating PC builds with neat, focused aesthetics
NF-A15 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap

NA-SAV2 chromax.black

  • Anti-Vibration mounts
  • chromax.black edition
NF-A15 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap

NA-FC1

  • Compact, highly flexible controller for 4-pin PWM fans
NF-A15 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap

NA-SRC7

  • 4-Pin Low-Noise Adaptors
NF-A15 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap

Information Sheet (PDF)

Can use the NF-A15 fan on my Noctua CPU cooler?

The NF-A15 is fully compatible with the NH-U12P, NH-C12P and NH-C12P SE14. On the NH-D14 and NH-C14, the NF-A15 fan can only be installed using optional fan clips. For this, please contact our customer service.

Which Noctua fan or CPU cooler should I buy? How to choose the right model?

Not sure which Noctua product to buy? Our detailed buying guides for fans and CPU coolers help you to choose the model that works best for you.

How can I check if my 4-pin fan header supports PWM?

Some mainboards feature 4-pin fan headers that actually don‘t use a PWM signal on Pin 4 to control the fan speed but rather reduce the voltage on Pin 2 (like a standard 3-pin fan header). As the fan speed at minimum voltage is usually higher than the speed at 20% PWM duty cycle, the fan can not reach as low minimum speeds under voltage control as under PWM control. Please refer to your mainboard manual to check whether or not your mainboard has 4-pin fan headers that control the fan speed by reducing voltage on Pin 2 rather than by changing the PWM duty cycle on Pin 4:

4 pin fan header types

Note that mainboard manufacturers use different terms to indicate that Pin 4 is not being used for PWM control (e.g. “+5V”, “VCC” or “NC”), but if one of these terms is used, you can be sure that the fan header does not support PWM. If Pin 4 is described as “Speed Control” or “PWM” or the like, you can be sure that the fan header supports PWM.

Unfortunately, the description of Pin 2 is not always a clear indication as some manufacturers use terms such as “Fan PWR” or “Power” for both types of fan headers. However, if Pin 2 is described as “Speed Control”, you can also be sure that the fan header does not support PWM based speed control. If Pin 2 is described as “+12V”, this is a clear indication that the fan header supports PWM.

Please also note that in some cases, the descriptions of the pin layouts in the mainboard manuals may not be correct and some models actually allow you to switch the fan headers from voltage control mode to PWM control mode in the BIOS even though the pin descriptions do not indicate PWM support. We thus recommend to look for these options in the BIOS before taking other measures. In case of doubt, please contact your mainboard manufacturer.


If your mainboard features other 4-pin fan headers that use PWM for speed control, you can run multiple fans from these headers using Y-split cables. Make sure not to exceed the specified maximum power draw of the fan headers (usually 10-12W) though.

Can I use Low-Noise Adaptors with y-cables / multiple fans?

Yes, Low-Noise Adaptors (L.N.A.s) can be used with y-cables, but please make sure to use one L.N.A. per fan and to place the L.N.A.s between the y-cable and the fans as shown below. Never use one L.N.A. for two (or more fans) by placing it between the mainboard and the y-cable!

D15S

My Noctua PWM fan runs at a much higher minimum speed than advertised, what is wrong?

The specified minimum speed refers to the speed at 20% PWM duty cycle. There can be several reasons why the fan doesn‘t go as low as indicated:

  1. Many mainboards do not go below 40%, 50% or even 60% PWM duty cycle on case fan headers. Please refer to your mainboard manual to verify whether the fan header actually goes down to 20% duty cycle. If that's not the case, in some cases you can use the fan speed control software supplied with your mainboard to overcome these limitations and reduce the fan speed even further. However, 3rd party tools like SpeedFan offer greater flexibility and better options to work around the limitations imposed by the mainboard vendors.

  2. Some mainboards feature 4-pin fan headers that actually don‘t use a PWM signal on Pin 4 to control the fan speed but rather reduce the voltage on Pin 2 (like a standard 3-pin fan header). As the fan speed at minimum voltage is usually higher than the speed at 20% PWM duty cycle, the fan can not reach as low minimum speeds under voltage control as under PWM control. Please refer to your mainboard manual to check whether or not your mainboard has 4-pin fan headers that control the fan speed by reducing voltage on Pin 2 rather than by changing the PWM duty cycle on Pin 4:

    4 pin fan header types

    Note that mainboard manufacturers use different terms to indicate that Pin 4 is not being used for PWM control (e.g. “+5V”, “VCC” or “NC”), but if one of these terms is used, you can be sure that the fan header does not support PWM. If Pin 4 is described as “Speed Control” or “PWM” or the like, you can be sure that the fan header supports PWM.

    Unfortunately, the description of Pin 2 is not always a clear indication as some manufacturers use terms such as “Fan PWR” or “Power” for both types of fan headers. However, if Pin 2 is described as “Speed Control”, you can also be sure that the fan header does not support PWM based speed control. If Pin 2 is described as “+12V”, this is a clear indication that the fan header supports PWM.

    Please also note that in some cases, the descriptions of the pin layouts in the mainboard manuals may not be correct and some models actually allow you to switch the fan headers from voltage control mode to PWM control mode in the BIOS even though the pin descriptions do not indicate PWM support. We thus recommend to look for these options in the BIOS before taking other measures. In case of doubt, please contact your mainboard manufacturer.


    If your mainboard features other 4-pin fan headers that use PWM for speed control, you can run multiple fans from these headers using Y-split cables. Make sure not to exceed the specified maximum power draw of the fan headers (usually 10-12W) though.

My Noctua PWM fan starts to spin when the PC boots but then stops, what is wrong?

Some mainboards feature 4-pin fan headers that actually don‘t use a PWM signal on Pin 4 to control the fan speed but rather reduce the voltage on Pin 2 (like a standard 3-pin fan header). In this case, it may occur that the mainboard reduces the voltage so much that the fan stops. Please refer to your mainboard manual to check whether or not your mainboard has 4-pin fan headers that control the fan speed by reducing voltage on Pin 2 rather than by changing the PWM duty cycle on Pin 4:

4 pin fan header types

Note that mainboard manufacturers use different terms to indicate that Pin 4 is not being used for PWM control (e.g. “+5V”, “VCC” or “NC”), but if one of these terms is used, you can be sure that the fan header does not support PWM. If Pin 4 is described as “Speed Control” or “PWM” or the like, you can be sure that the fan header supports PWM.

Unfortunately, the description of Pin 2 is not always a clear indication as some manufacturers use terms such as “Fan PWR” or “Power” for both types of fan headers. However, if Pin 2 is described as “Speed Control”, you can also be sure that the fan header does not support PWM based speed control. If Pin 2 is described as “+12V”, this is a clear indication that the fan header supports PWM.

Please also note that in some cases, the descriptions of the pin layouts in the mainboard manuals may not be correct and some models actually allow you to switch the fan headers from voltage control mode to PWM control mode in the BIOS even though the pin descriptions do not indicate PWM support. We thus recommend to look for these options in the BIOS before taking other measures. In case of doubt, please contact your mainboard manufacturer.



To resolve the issue, you can:

  1. Choose a higher fan speed profile in the BIOS (e.g. „normal“ instead of „silent“, etc.) or deactivate automatic fan speed control and use a Low-Noise Adaptor instead.

  2. Use the mainboard‘s fan speed control software or 3rd party tools like Speedfan to regulate the fan speed. Unlike BIOS based fan speed control, the supplied software usually checks whether the fan has stopped and increases voltage accordingly or at least offer more options to set up the fan properly.

  3. If your mainboard features other 4-pin fan headers that use PWM for speed control, you can run multiple fans from these headers using Y-split cables. Make sure not to exceed the specified maximum power draw of the fan headers (usually 10-12W) though.

How should I clean my Noctua fan?

Fans inside computer cases tend to accumulate dust over longer periods of usage. In order to maintain maximum performance, please clean your fans regularly using a duster, slightly moist tissue or canned air. Please be careful not to use too much force in order to prevent any damage to the fan. Please do not use a vacuum cleaner as this may apply excessive force to the fan and do not put the fan under running water as water residues inside the motor may lead to short circuits.
In order to ensure flawless operation over many years of usage, Noctua’s premium grade SSO bearings are fully sealed to prevent the entering of fine dust particles. Please note that the fan is not designed to be taken apart by the user. Removing the impeller from the frame will break the sealing of the bearing and results in a loss of warranty.

How can I find out the direction of airflow and sense of rotation?

When looking at the fan so that the circular sticker with the Noctua logo is facing you, the direction of airflow is towards you and the sense of rotation is clockwise:

P14

What pin configuration do Noctua 12V fans use?

All Noctua fans feature the standard pin-configurations set out in the Intel and AMD specifications. These standard pin-configurations are used on most mainboards and fan controllers today:

pin configuration

I get a CPU fan error using my Noctua PWM fan, is it faulty?

Noctua PWM fans feature a minimum speed of 300rpm to allow for ultra quiet operation when your CPU is at idle state and doesn’t require higher cooling performance. Some mainboards display error messages such as “CPU fan error” during the booting process when the fan speed is below a certain level. If you get such error messages using your Noctua PWM fan and if such options are available in your BIOS, please either adjust the minimum fan speed monitoring limit to 200rpm or increase the minimum PWM duty cycle. If your BIOS doesn’t offer these options, please disable CPU fan errors. For detailed information on BIOS fan settings, please consult your mainoard’s manual or contact your mainboard manufacturer.

Can I run 4-pin PWM fans on 3-pin fan headers?

PWM fans come with a 4-pin connectors for fully automatic speed control via your mainboard’s 4-pin PWM fan headers. Please note that 4-pin fans can also be connected to your mainboard’s 3-pin fan headers though. When connected to 3-pin fan headers, the fan will run at full speed (unless the mainboard supports voltage based speed control).

Can I paint my Noctua fan in order to change its color?

Since even small variations in the layer of paint can lead to an imbalance of the impeller, resulting in vibrations, higher noise levels, increased stress on the bearing and thus reduced lifespan, we do not recommend painting the fan. Please note that for the reasons stated above, painting the fan will void your warranty.

Can I disassemble my fan for cleaning (or other purposes, e.g. painting)?

In order to ensure flawless operation over many years of usage, all Noctua fans come with a premium grade SSO bearing, which is fully sealed to prevent the entering of fine dust particles. Please note that the fan is not designed to be taken apart by the user. Removing the impeller from the frame will break the sealing of the bearing and results in a loss of warranty.

It is thus recommended to clean your fans using a duster, slightly moist tissue or canned air. Please be careful not to use too much force in order to prevent any damage to the fan. Please don’t use a vacuum cleaner as this may apply excessive force to the fan.

I get a CPU fan error despite the fan is running!

Some mainboards display a CPU fan error when the fan speed falls below a certain threshold, e.g. 900rpm. If you want to run the fan below this speed (e.g. using the supplied U.L.N.A.), please adjust the threshold in the BIOS or disable CPU fan error warning.

The supplied y-cable is missing a wire at one of the two connectors, is it faulty?

No. As mainboards can process only one rpm-signal per fan header, it would cause problems if the cable transmitted rpm-signals of both fans. For this reason, one of the two connectors does not have an rpm wire and only the fan on the other connector will transmit an rpm signal. Automatic speed control of both fans will work independently from the second fan’s rpm signal.

I'm experiencing fan speed issues with my motherboard from Supermicro, what can I do?

The BIOS of many motherboard models from Supermicro expects a certain minimum fan speed (usually 700rpm), which is higher than the minimum fan speed that can be achieved with Noctua's PWM fan models. The BIOS may interpret the low minimum RPM of Noctua fans as a fan error and thus try to run the fan at 100% for a short period before going back to automatic control.. This can result in oscillating fan speeds and fan speed warnings in the BIOS or the fan management console.

Unfortunately there is usually no option to set a lower minimum value that would suit the low minimum speed of Noctua PWM fans.The issue can thus only be resolved by either disabling automatic fan speed control in BIOS, which will cause the fans to run at a constant speed, or by requesting a modified BIOS file from Supermicro, which takes the minimum fan speed of Noctua fans into account (charges might apply).

Does the NF-A15 PWM that comes with Noctua coolers run at a different speed (1500rpm) than the retail model (1200rpm)?

Yes, the NF-A15 PWM bundled with our heatsinks is specified to run at 1500rpm (see cooler specifications for details) and the retail model is specified to run at 1200rpm (see fan specifications for details). The 1200rpm retail model is ideal for setting up push/pull configurations in combination with the coolers’ 1500rpm stock fan because the combination of the 1500 and 1200rpm models provides a better balance of performance and noise than the combination of two 1500rpm versions. On dual-tower coolers such as the NH-D15S, we recommend to run the 1500rpm version in the center and the 1200rpm version on the front. On single-tower coolers such as the NH-U14S, we recommend to run the 1500rpm version on the front and the 1200rpm version on the back of the cooler. The NA-YC1 y-cable supplied with the retail fan can be used in order to control both fans via one PWM fan header. In this case, both fans will scale individually according to the PWM duty cycle supplied by the motherboard, e.g. they will run at ~1500/1200 respectively at 100% duty cycle, ~750/600rpm at 50% duty cycle, etc. Both at 100% and lower speeds, the speed difference between the fans reduces resonance phenomena and thus helps to achieve the best balance of performance and noise.

Can I use Noctua fans in my system from Acer, Apple, Dell, HP, Lenovo or other major brands?

Noctua 12V fans comply with the established specifications for standard PC systems issued by Intel and AMD. Systems from Acer, Apple, Dell, HP, Lenovo or other major brands often deviate from these specifications e.g. by using proprietary fan headers, custom pin-alignments or pin-configurations, different methods of fan speed control, etc. This can lead to compatibility issues when using Noctua fans in systems from said brands. Some of these problems can be avoided with some technical knowledge, but especially BIOS related issues (e.g. errors or shutdowns due to low fan speed) can often not be resolved. As a result, Noctua does not officially support systems from Acer, Apple, Dell, HP, Lenovo or other major brands.

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